our top 10 android board game apps (Updated 2019)
It hasn’t always been easy as an Android board gamer. The stigma that Android users don’t pay for apps really damaged the platform in the early days. Some of the biggest name games got high quality ports on iOS but weren’t ported to Android, many of these still haven’t made the jump (looking at you Agricola, among others). Over time, the majority of developers started releasing apps for both platforms, there are still the occasional exceptions, but for the most part, the big new releases show up on Android.
This won't be simply us ranking the games we've reviewed down the line 1-10 based on scores. We review games based on the fun and app quality, but some apps which are packed full of features and do everything right just might not have the game behind them that keeps us coming back over the long haul. Other times some apps might have minimum features but we can't stop playing them. The other difference between this list and our reviews is that reviews are ultimately handled individually by the reviewer, while this is a fully collaborative list. Not that you care about our methods, the import thing is that we are confident that you will love these high quality Top 10 Android board game apps.
Don’t worry iOS owners, we’ve got you covered too. Our Top 10 iOS Board Game Apps is posted here.
Click the images to purchase the board games through Amazon, the download links to purchase the apps, and/or the star rating to read the full review. We love feedback, so feel free to comment at the bottom of the page with your list, or simply to let us know that we nailed it.
The game is a classic and the app does everything you could hope for. Great AI play and challenges give the solo play tremendous depth, while the great online game offers a variety of both synchronous and asynchronous play options. Simply put, Through the Ages is the best board game app out there, if you enjoy a heavy dose of strategy and don't mind taking a lot of losses against good online opponents, get this app now.
Star Realms gets just about everything right. The two player deckbuilder makes for a fantastic multiplayer game, asynchronous or real-time. The app adds a tough AI opponent and an extensive campaign mode which provides dozens of fresh challenges. The app has been around for awhile but just received a major overhaul and remains fresh to long time and new players alike.
Race for the Galaxy was released earlier this year and it's made a big impression. Race is a classic hand management game and the app provides a smooth experience with an active online player base to go along with a great AI system for single player mode. The forthcoming additions of leader boards and stat keeping should only enhance this already great experience.
Sentinels is a cooperative card game pitting the players as a group of super heroes facing off against a diabolical villain. The game is definitely a “love it or hate it” type as it is incredibly difficult to the point of it feeling hopeless to start. However, if you enjoy it enough to keep going, the game reveals an amazing level of depth and replayability through a slew of expansions that will keep any player busy for a long time. The character design is fantastic, the card abilities are incredibly elegant and reward multiple plays, this is truly a game that gets better with more plays.
One Deck Dungeon was named ours (and our reader's) game of the year for 2018. It is a mix of easy to learn (just roll the dice and place them!), unexpected depth, and brutal difficulty that is a tough balance to attempt, let alone pull off so incredibly well. The only thing holding this game down somewhat is that it is a tablet-only release right now (and Steam), which prevents us from playing it as much as we'd like. On the other hand, it has us using those tablets a lot more than we were previously!
Ganz Schön Clever is a, well, clever roll-and-write game which demonstrates the power of a simple, addicting point-chasing game. Players use six dice and must carefully select which to use on each roll, as the choice could eliminate other dice from being used on the next roll. Players work to fill up five scoring tracks, each ripe with bonuses. The joy of stringing together a series of bonuses into bit points is one of the most fun to be had on your mobile devices. There is nothing fancy about the implementation, but the game itself shines so brightly, it has stuck in our libraries long after release. (Naturally, the sequel, Twice as Clever, was released a day before we published this list. Check it out, too)
Burgle Bros. provides a fantastic solo experience. The co-op heist game is a ton of fun and the app adds a lot of variety in play modes which scale the difficulty quite well from novice to expert, ensuring players of all skill levels will find something to enjoy. The satisfaction of pulling off a heist is one of the best moments offered in the board game app world.
Acram Digital makes really good, true to the cardboard, ports. They are three for three in their efforts. Their standout, in our book, is Steam: Rails to Riches. Steam is a route building, delivery game with incredible strategic depth. The variety of different actions to can (and need) to taken, along with a money lending system, turn order bidding, and more added by the Standard mode, add up to one of the deepest games to get a digital port. Deep and heavy alone doesn’t make a game worth playing, but in Steam the payoff is worth the effort it takes to learn.
Waterdeep is back! The game finally saw release on Android in 2017 after being iOS-exclusive for years. The implementation didn't disappoint, for the most part. The one big bug was the lack of system notifications in online games. Thankfully, this was fixed in 2018 and the game shines again. The game itself is maybe the standard bearer for mid-weight worker placement games. Honestly, it probably doesn't make the list without the two fantastic expansions available (packaged together in the physical world as the Scoundrels of Skullport), they add a lot of interesting options and depth to the game. Waterdeep stays a favorite on our phones because there isn't much else in it's exact niche, and the game remains a lot of fun.
Proof that something incredibly simple can also be incredibly addicting. Was anybody needing proof on that? Highly doubtful, but humor me. Cat Lady is a set collection game that flies by in app form. Games can be played in less than five minutes, just enough time to make you keep wanting to play "just one more" over and over again. The game cleverly makes you draw your point scoring cards (cats) along with the cards necessary to activate those points (various types of food). There are extras on top of this, of course, but at its most basic elements, Cat Lady is a winning formula that has us coming back time and time again.